100 Best Albums

  • JAN 24, 2011
  • 12 Songs

Essential Albums

  • 25
  • 21


Artist Playlists

More To Hear

About Adele

Dozens of British artists share Adele’s origins—BRIT School, Myspace, pop stardom—but it takes rare talent to have your voice declared timeless in your career’s first flush. Adele Adkins honed hers as a kid in her North London bedroom, imitating Etta James every night for an hour. But as soon as she made her television debut at age 19 in 2007, all potential comparisons evaporated: This girl with whopping hoop earrings and a pub landlady’s brashness had something unique. Heartbreak, indignation, and regret all found a natural home in her regal mezzo-soprano, the instrument that powered her 2008 debut album, 19, and took influence from the American South on 2011’s 21. Both of these albums broke records for breaking records, which made a subsequent operation on Adele’s vocal cords a matter of global import. She recovered immaculately—for proof, watch her performance of “Rolling in the Deep” at the 2012 Grammys—and it took just one word to reintroduce her in 2015. “Hello,” she sang during an X Factor ad break, unveiling her third album, 25, in the process. Songs like the swirling “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” and the pensive “Water Under the Bridge” helped it become yet another global chart-topper. In 2021, Adele released 30, which grappled with motherhood, the aftermath of her divorce, and—perhaps most surprisingly—happiness amid life’s upheavals. She embarked on a Las Vegas residency in 2022, showcasing her formidable catalog and era-defining voice.

Tottenham, London, England
May 5, 1988
Select a country or region

Africa, Middle East, and India

Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

The United States and Canada